Take Back the ‘Corporate’ Culture

| December 20, 2019

by Hilary Troia

Even though many organizations are working hard to improve their corporate culture, when people think “corporate,” many connotations to come to mind: stuffy, staid, boring, plain, safe – not too many positive descriptors there!  But by taking into consideration some of the latest trends in office design, while still staying true to a company culture that values employees and inspires productivity, corporations can create work environments that feel anything but “corporate.”

The first things to consider when thinking about redesigning office space are twofold:  1) What kind of work is taking place here?  and 2) Who are the people carrying out this work?  Talking to an office designer who will ask these kinds of questions is crucial.  Businesses need designers that look at both the whole picture of the company and the space as well as all the individualized parts that make up the whole.  Without such reflection, a company risks creating a work environment that is more cookie-cutter than reflective, more stale than inspirational.  From there, it makes sense to take into consideration the space being used – measurements and structural constraints, as well as lighting and noise considerations, wire management, and electrical needs.

Finding a designer who can present options and walk you through them clearly and thoughtfully is a must.  Maybe you’re thinking about creating open workspaces, for example.  Rather than work with someone who says, “great, we’ll order the tables,” successful corporations will work with someone who listens to your ideas, and then can lay out any pros or cons associated with them.  For example, maybe a specific company is looking to foster better team collaboration, in which case open workspaces would certainly be an appropriate option.  But perhaps that same company has received feedback that employees really value personal space, something that can be severely minimized in an open workspace environment.  Finding a solution that responds to both of those concerns is well within the purview of an experienced and skilled office designer.

Choosing to reimagine a company workspace also allows for that space to reflect the company’s image and brand.  While at first thought it may be hard to imagine that furniture could really reflect something like this, the multitude of colors and fabrics, combined with unique takes on “traditional” furniture that allow for individualization, really do present a chance to reflect your brand throughout your office space in a tangible way.

In addition to putting your best image forward to any clients coming into your corporate offices, the impact on your employees will be incredibly positive as well.  Investing in a comfortable, ergonomic, supportive, and attractive office space demonstrates to your employees that you care about their work environment, and you care about them.  This type of corporate culture goes far toward enhancing both employee retention and recruitment efforts, saving significant money in the long run.

Large companies that want to succeed are looking at ways to demonstrate they aren’t just some faceless behemoth, but a real organization that meets its clients’ needs and takes care of its employees.  With the right office design, corporations can transform themselves from safe to sensational!

Hilary Troia

Hilary Troia is president and co-owner of Office Gallery International.

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